Wardobe Management: Restocking the Closet With Luxury Basics...

{images via Pinterest + Pinterest}

In several previous posts I shared my unique method for stripping away the excess in my closet. I literally removed everything from the space, redesigned the closet (hello, happy white shelves & smooth-gliding drawers!) and then gave every item a hard evaluation before deciding what deserved to go back in. That's right. It wasn't an exercise in elimination. It was placing a positive spin on the daunting process. It's not what goes away. It's more a matter of "what fabulous pieces do I already own that deserve to be housed in this sparkling new space?" Which of you lovely pieces are closet worthy?

As you might imagine, many items were kicked to the curb via donations & selling online. This is an exercise in patience as I am still listing items on Tradesy in my down time. Yet the effort was (and continues to be) so worth it. In fact, the pieces in my "before" closet served a previous version of me. She loved shopping, had time to peruse the racks at Neimans & Saks and those precious big sales, she had the leisure to grab coffee on Saturdays before window shopping with friends. She was more willing to bypass the perfect black tee (so boring) for a boldly printed chiffon DVF blouse she "discovered" on a rack at Saks while popping out of the office for a bite to eat. The previous me enjoyed the thrill of the unexpected hunt and had ample time to peruse department stores and specialty boutiques in a never ending quest for "special" pieces. Former me was an unpredictable shopping gunslinger rapidly aiming her weapon in the direction of occasionally fabulous but often "almost ideal" items. She was eager to add to her closet and willing to experiment.

This retail wild west chracater no longer exists. Today, I'm a focused sniper. A trained retail sharpshooter peering through the cross-hairs of my scope carefully observing my retail prey. Rather than a quick pull on the trigger & hope for the best, I'm an expert closet curator who carefully plans each purchase and stalks each item with relentless research. I study how an item looks on other bloggers, read reviews, pay special attention to measurements and determine how handbags will function, blouses will billow, denim will wear and dresses will hang on my petite frame.

Small children and a busy digital business keep my feet mostly out of physical stores and firmly entrenched in the online shopping experience. And let's not forget that redone closet. It's given me a clear lens through which to focus my attention. With my recently streamlined wardrobe I now experience on a daily basis where the voids are in my wardrobe. I can now respect the need (yes need) of the perfect black tee and the functional benefits a small crossbody bag would add to my lifestyle. I can see the vacancies now in glaring detail that were once obscured by the abundance of "almost perfect" pieces. The chaos cleared, there's now a crystal clear picture of what exists, what is needed and what would be thrilling to add to my tightly edited collection. 

Pressed for time (and craving as much information as possible) I prefer to shop almost exclusively online. There are no more unexpected purchases, things are carefully considered and planned. Rather than casting a wide net I visit favorite brands and trusted sites loyally and favor them for their excellent products and perfect customer service (and of course, sales!). This isn't to say the quest for the new and unexpected is gone, that's the thrill of life, right? The excited shopper is still thriving and alive, but her reckless former form has been replaced with a careful curator who obsesses over button placement, fabric weight and the integration of said fashion into my busy lifestyle.

The new shopper in me is a perfectionist. She can't believe she every selected an "almost perfect" anything. Rather than spending on a frilly frock that will one day be perfect if I'm invited to Diddy's White Party (is that still a thing?) I'm investing in pieces I will enjoy for many years. Fact is, they may require a bigger financial commitment, but the quality will be commensurate with price and the luxurious fit and durability will more than make up for the price. Also - I LOVE my newly thinned out wardrobe and reject the idea of "good enough" pieces when I can hold out and wait for the ideal piece to appear.

My style is pretty much Olivia Palermo meets Olivia Pope. Clean lines, stylish classics, beautiful pieces. Feminine style with a confident lean. With that, here a few timeless pieces I'm stalking for fall that will fill some of the aforementioned gaps in my wardrobe and my life. Remember, I circle the drain for some time before making the purchase. I look at each piece for versatility, longevity and how wearing it will make me feel.

THE URGENT FALL SHOPPING LIST

Franki Durbin // Fall Fashion

Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming // Splendid Fitted Soft Touch Tees (also see Hanro here & here) // DVF Leopard Scarf (also here) // Saint Laurent Crossbody Tassel bag (also here & here) // Frame Le Crop Mini Bootcut Jeans (also at Nordstrom) // Gucci Horsebit Leather Mules (also here)

  • Crop flared denim for an everyday for that are just as perfect with flat loafers as they are with sneaks or heels.

  • A high quality small-ish crossbody bag with gold hardware. Large enough for a wallet, iPhone, fey fob and lip gloss but needn't carry anything else. Versatility is key here. Ideally it will work as a clutch, shoulder bag or crossbody to play a multitude of roles.

  • Perfect black & white tees. So basic. So easy to delay. Yet so crucial to daily life. When I discover "the one" I'll invest in a handful of them in black and white as I could easily wear them daily.

  • Chunky heels. Fall's version of a wedge, the chunky mules gives any outfit a little "lift" and elongates my petite frame. Black (duh) is ideal and you can bet I'll be sliding my feet into these on the regular.

  • A new signature fragrance for fall, this new Dior perfume is my current love

ROUND TWO WILL INCLUDE

  • A statement jacket (or two). In all fairness, I'm a bit jacket obsessed. This is an area of "freedom" in my wardrobe where I color outside the lines and can easily justify a lilac quilted leather jacket (and I do) or a faux fur sequinned creation (because it's fabulous). When the "great edit" went down, I was left with a lovely collection of denim, handbags and jackets - quickly realizing that I needed to add more shirts to my game lest I be nekkid under those pretty blazers & cropped jackets. What I don't own, however, is a pink jacket (the horror!) or a classic black moto jacket.

  • Fall/winter boots. Leather with a stacked heel. Not a sky-high heel, but not squatty either I have denim that only work when worn with heels, so at least 3" will be required.

  • A black bow blouse. Who doesn't love a good bow blouse? This was on my list last year as well but I never quite found "the one" at the price point I was seeking. Perhaps this season I'll find my perfect match.

For the moment, that's the list. It's longer than I'd like it to be, but the reality is I can skip the jackets and be perfectly fine. Those are long-term acquisition goals whereas the others are things I long for every day. What are you hunting for this season? Are you a color lover or do you go flock to neutrals? What do you consider basic?

(Note: If you'd like to shop my Tradesy closet, here's a link to save $20 on your purchase.)

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Wardrobe Management: The Completely Curated Closet...

Well, I did it. Firmly belted into my seat on a quick flight to visit family I sat down and listed out my ideal wardrobe. It comes as no surprise to me that the end result is a strict mix of black, white, leopard and pink. Why stick from tried and true favorites, right? What did amaze me, however, is how few of these items I already have in my closet. This simple method demonstrated to me how radically I need to switch up what's in my wardrobe - and how many things I'm about to sell off. 

My process? Informal as it was, here's the way I did it... in a fresh Jordi Labanda notebook I wrote, rewrote and rewrote the pieces I would purchase today if I owned not one bit of clothing. More importantly, I imagines I had no clothing to my name and needed to build the perfect wardrobe from scratch. In other words - skip the "what should I keep" thinking and shift over to "what would I bring into my life right now? 

Triggering this is that we are presently rebuilding our master closet. The result will be a glamorous white space with (you guessed it) chandelier overhead and tufted round seat below. The design is complex or terribly costly, but it is stunning. So much so that it deserves consideration as to what should be housed there. 

Thus the "completely curated closet" concept was born. So streamlined and versatile is this "foundation" that I can't wait to return home to sell off pretty much every stitch of clothing I own. 

Above is my quickly hashed out list. A few notes: jackets are an obsession of mine. Milly, Nanette Lepore, Rebecca and others make phenomenal feminine jackets I can't get enough of. My "wild card" line above accommodates that passion (and allows for wiggle room in inventory). I go into much more detail on that in this post

Shoes listed above are shoes I see as the "basis" for a solid footwear wardrobe. I have plenty of pretty wedges I'll keep, but it's time to add in some of these more dressy "essentials" and invest in top quality. These are long-term investments and you'll see nary a trend on this list.

Handbags: I have a collection I'm very privately proud of. I'll be adding to it (I'm showing a few specific future acquisitions below) but if you were only making three handbag purchases, these would be the three I would invest in personally. A golden straw summer tote needs to be added to the mix as well if we're calling it a comprehensive collection. 

HANDBAGS TO ADD (WHAT'S MISSING FROM MY CURRENT MIX)

Apparel (other than those jackets) I'm honestly ready to say adios to all I own in terms of tops & pants and the like. The closet redesign and the idea of what to place BACK into the new space is the conceptual shift necessary to pack them up and ship them out to new owners. Buh-bye to many longstanding "friends" in my closet who might enjoy the company of someone new. 

Now... the most DIFFICULT part. Finding those basics. I've honestly been on the hunt for the perfect tee for a few years. I had mine pinned down but the brand no longer makes them. It turns out Chico's (where I've admittedly never shopped) has a killer black tee that fits the bill (the bill being: scoopneck, synthetic stretch, non-cotton). 

BEAUTIFUL BASICS

I'll keep you posted as I progress But rest assured, once we touch back down in Dallas it's a fast & furious plan to sell it all to fund (or more realistically: offset the cost of) the new. Also, I realize my list hashed out at 30,000 feet might have a few holes. I'm sure I'll discover those and see to it to fill them. That said, you should know that it is my dream to have only a few sparse garments hanging in the closet and the rest of the space filled with stunning accessories. There's so much joy to be had in a plain white fitted tee, jeans and a black jacket accented with killer accessories. Call it my "uniform" and it might even seem uninspired to you - but to me this is heaven in a closet. A handful of well-chosen pieces I absolutely adore just waiting to come out at play. It's my look, my go-to style and I'm definitely owning up to my minimalist wardrobe cravings. 

As I hunt for these surprisingly elusive timeless basics I'll share them. I'm super excited to share the entire journey with you. Happy Sunday, everyone! 

Wardrobe Management: Why You Need To KonMari It All...

Seriously. Aren't you tired of that overstuffed closet filled with "so-so" pieces of clothing? You are. I know you are. I'm sick of mine too. And while the litmus test "would I buy this today if I were shopping?" was good for a time, today I'm loving the much more challenging KonMari method.  

Marie Kondo's basic premise it to ask of each item in your possession this simple (yet profound) question: Does it bring you joy? Ooooh. That's a different question entirely, and the answer is a resounding "no" most of the time. This is an editing program I can fully get behind and finally dissect my wardrobe with purpose. 

Most of the images above are from the portfolio of Lisa Adams, LA's premier closet designer and the secret weapon behind many of those celebrity closets you fawn over on Pinterest. I admit to being a huge fan of her and her work. Not familiar? Watch this episode of Million Dollar Closets and consider yourself motivated to KonMari almost everything you own: 

Wardrobe Management: Maximizing the Minimum...

We're presently in the process of redesigning our master closet. Although I've edited my wardrobe ad nauseum in the public forum before, my desire to drastically reduce the contents of said closet have never been greater.

When it comes to what I wear on a daily basis I am always amazed at my "greatest hits" list and the frequency of wear I demand from those chosen few. Ruched black boatneck tee? Expect to see me in one of these any given day of the week. Long sleeve cowl neck whisper thin sweater? You can bet I'm rocking this every opportunity I get. Dark rinse skinny jeans? Save the rest: I'm wearing my two fave pairs like nobody's business. 

While my accessories fall into the "untouchables" category, most of my dresses, pants and tops would barely be missed if I woke up to find them gone. Suddenly the idea of having nothing but those curated accessories and a tiny little collection of black and white tops sounds downright dreamy.

It dawns on me (again, but perhaps this time impressed upon a more readied mind) that most of my hanging wardrobe possessions are merely filler for the classic basics I long to own. That in fact, I don't love most of my clothing at all (accessories, jackets & coats excluded). It seems silly to plan a rod upon which to hang dresses and tops I'm less than overjoyed to own. It finally occurred: I've finally reached the moment I've been waiting for. The moment when I'm ready to let the bulk of my closet goodies go "buh bye" for good. 

A close friend just returned from Paris and observed firsthand what I saw to be true in Europe. Those girls invest in a few select quality pieces (or at least the best they can afford) and work their magic to make that minimum wardrobe look like maximum style. Fewer foundational pieces. More emphasis on accessories & versatile styling. Less manifesting as much, much more. Her take-away from the trip was that less is so very much more and that our European sisters are free from the burden of excess that so often shackles us here. 

This isn't about depriving yourself. Quite the opposite, in fact. It's about spoiling yourself by way of owning more carefully selected pieces. It's about investing in the absolute best quality and never (ever) compromising on fit. It's about celebrating truly great pieces and developing a highly functional closet that serves you - not the other way around. It's the exact practice I've been preaching but upon closer inspection it seems my closet is full of fluff rather than treasured gems. 

So as we plow through yet another year let's make a decision to not be weighed down by our possessions. Let us own only things we truly love and cherish. Let us be crazy about each thing (and living creature) in our lives. Let's get rid of the "stand-ins" and make room for the stars of the show in this wildly short experience known as life. The edit is on, dear friends. Truly, it is on.  

Let it go, and set yourself free. 

Wardrobe Management: The Good, The Bad and The Unsellable...

Do you recall my massive closet purge from late summer? I edited my heart out, sourced modern methods to shed my unwanted pounds of clothing and then... I hit a roadblock. Allow me explain:

First, the background. I want what every girl wants. A closet populated only by clothing that fits and flatters. An LBD to wear to a last minute event, the perfect white blouse, a gallery of jeans that fit flawlessly and enough accessories to make a Harrod's buyer swoon. What I don't want is an excess of "things" I'm not wearing. The bounty of unworn pieces in my closet bothers me and I'm eager to let these underutilized pieces go. I'm also eager to net a bit of cash for my fabulous taste and inventory of well-maintained (often new) goods. Can you blame me? I don't want much, but a little pocket change will ease the sorrow of parting with old "friends" hanging out in the closet.

Well... it seems not all of the things we buy seem so special to others. I've had no problem selling off Tom Ford sunnies that were too small or other small designer accessories. Trina Turk sells well and Milly is a winner. Clearly there's a demand for those brands. But dare ye not toss a few pairs of pants from the mall in a bag and send it off in hopes of someone buying it unless you're willing to say buh-bye for the cost of a cup of coffee. The issue isn't the "send it to us, we'll do the rest" services, it's what I'm sending them. Shipping off your unwanted goods in the hopes of earning cashola may sound easy, but it isn't. There is definitely a learning curve to climb and time to be invested if you're hoping to sell rather than just purge. 

Here's how a handful of these services basically break down:

Vaunte: rocking a closet of Valentino & Rag & Bone? This service is for you. List your high end designer goods and watch the cash roll in (presumably) at this VIP recommerce option. I do love the site, but admittedly my "best of" items I'm simply not willing to part with. If your Chanel shelf is overflowing, this might be your match. 

Verdict: bring your A-game to this VIP selling platform and dress to impress. 

Shop-Hers: I like this one a lot. Great pieces, nice curated closets. It's fun to shop and they offer frequent incentives to buy and sell. I've not actually listed items for sale yet, but doing so is one of my next projects. Expect to sell you Jason Wu scores and Current/Elliott pieces here. 

Verdict: great for selling luxury brands and #NYFW popularized designer labels.

The RealReal: While I don't feel the site is well designed, it has a huge following and they definitely make selling easy. Right now if you consign five qualifying items they'll give you a $100 Neiman Marcus gift card. Not a bad deal for your previously loved Vuitton bags and those Prada sunnies just sitting in a drawer. That's in addition to the earnings you'll receive when those goods sell. The RealReal is the real deal. 

Verdict: if you're willing to consign, this is a solid choice. Pack up your mint condition Chanels and say bye bye.

Tradesy: is your closet more of the Tibi, Tory Burch, DVF, Milly, Rebecca Taylor variety? This is your sweet spot. I've had real success here and will continue listing items of this variety with them. The site is very well designed and there seems to be a critical mass of buyers & sellers actively using the site. They even offer suggested price point when you are creating your listing, making uploading & accurately pricing those Jimmy Choos a no brainer. 

Verdict: I'm amazed at how many friends shop this site. Selling is EASY and shipping sold items is a breeze.

ThredUP: this one surprised me. Their X Collection is far more high end than I anticipated and in fact discovered it's a great place to score new Trina Turk & Valentino pieces for a song.  Warning: this is definitely a buyer's market for designer brands and other great finds at incredible prices. Extra bonus: they buy and sell kids clothing & accessories, too. I'll be tossing some pieces into one of their convenient full service bags this month and seeing how it fares as a seller. 

Verdict: lovely curated layout. Perhaps more ideal for snagging designer bargains versus netting huge personal profits. Love the option to send in a prepaid bag of goodies to sell. Hassle free. 

Threadflip: You can either list items yourself or order their full service bag. I opted for the latter because it makes the purge so much easier. In the end they kept about half of my items and professionally photographed and listed them for me. While I barely recognize my items in the listings (did I really own that?), it was nice to have such an easy way to get them out of my closet. Downside: I paid a hefty $14.95 in shipping to have the "unsellable" items returned (optionally, you can let them donate them). I've had only one of two items sell and those sold for a pittance, but this is a no-hassle way to slowly sell those items off you're not in a big hurry. 

Verdict: If you're eager to get rid of it all and aren't terribly focused on profits, their full service option makes it easy. .

LikeTwice: one of the easiest services, you can send in an envelope of clothing and cross your fingers that they'll love your J. Crew sweaters and last season's capri pants. Honestly, they make it so easy and fun to stuff that bag full of your goodies. Once sent, they'll pay you up front for the items they like. Sweet, right? Unfortunately, the offer for my 34 items was so much less than I'd hoped for that I paid them the $4.95 to get it back. Optionally, they will donate your "unwanteds" to charity so you never have to see them again. To their credit, they did want to buy quite a few items, I just had higher hopes for the payout. 

Verdict: Very easy to use. Loved their estimate widget. Perhaps not ideal for what I'm trying to achieve (read: profit) but another painless way to ship your accumulated fashion scores off and say goodbye forever.

Poshmark: easily the coolest kid on the recommerce block. I need to invest more time here, as I feel this is likely the most active audience for my goods. It does require attention in much the same way all social networks do, but regular users swear by the effectiveness of this fun social shopping platform. Easy to use. Huge user base. Always a lot of energy & excitement over buying & selling. 

Verdict: perfect for those eager to pose in their clothing & sell to friends and followers. Be ready to get involved & treat it like you would any another social network. 


The bad news: Chances are those pants for the office you bought at The Limited will be so commonplace online (and so affordable new) that their resale value is tiny. Unless you're selling well known designer goods you will need to lower your expectations. Most of your clothing and accessories hold little to no value in the recommerce marketplace. 

The good news: High end products (think: Chanel, Tom Ford, Chloe) and mid-range designer goods (e.g. Tory Burch, Theory, Rory Becca and others) will net the most pocket change (obviously) and also sell the fastest. Those items hold their value and are desirable to buyers looking for bargains or hard-to-find items.  

Niche options: If you specifically have high-end bags to sell, you have many options available to you. Fashionphile is a great choice as is Portero and a handful of others. But give Vaunte and The RealReal a shot as your target market is definitely busily shopping there. 

Bottom line: purging your closet online isn't snap your fingers easy, but you do have myriad options.


A FEW TIPS FROM MY EXPERIENCE

1. Get perspective. Be honest with yourself about what you want to sell and try to align with the site (or sites) that seems best suited to your items. 

2. Be flexible. Don't be afraid to mix it up and use a few different services/sites to sell your goods. I found that I was able to identify different tiers of items I wanted to sell and I used different avenues appropriate to the value and desirability of those goods. 

3. Lower your expectations. Ouch. This one hurts, but is essential. You don't want these things any longer, so it's a probably a bit unrealistic to believe you'll be able to run out and buy a new Saint Laurent tote with your earnings from the sale of your closet purge. Mileage will vary, of course, but brace yourself for a bit of a shock when you see the current value of your massive purge pile. 

4. Be persistent. If one site rejects your items or offers too low of an offer, consider packaging it back up and sending those things to another service. Or, mix it up a bit and send better things next time hoping for a more favorable response. Maybe you underestimated their target audience's taste level and should have shipped out more premium pieces. 

5. Read the fine print. Be sure you know how to get back your unwanted goods if a full-service option rejects some of your goods. You can always take them to a local charity or list them on another site yourself. 

6. Be willing to work for it. This is taking far more time than I'd hoped. Some days I am tempted to drive my car up to my local charity and drop the whole load of goods off and call it quits. And yet... I see that there's value to be gained (read: money to be recouped) from selling. Even at a slow pace. If you've got a little time to spend, you can indeed sell many of your closet possessions online. It just won't happen overnight unless you are Dorothy Wang and have legions of fans eager to shop your closet. 

7. Evaluate your goals ahead of time. Do you just want it gone or are you aiming for a pot of gold? If your goal is to quickly thin the herd, this can easily be done with the simple filling of a few full-service bags. Boom. Gone. If you're hoping to see a few Benjamins appear in your wallet, set yourself up for the often slow process of pruning the closet and matching those goods up with the right buyer market. 

8. Don't be shy. Take a cue from other bloggers and consider posting your items one at a time on twitter & instagram. Have fun with it. Your friends & followers surely love your taste and might just want that adorable skirt for themselves. 

9. Be considerate. All of these services (and by extension, their buyers) want clean, like new items. If those jeans have seen better days, donate them or toss them. 

10. Keep your eyes on the prize. Remind yourself how great it will be to have only a tightly curated collection of pieces left in your closet when this is done. You will be satisfied in the knowledge that you wisely edited your wardrobe and let go of those under-used pieces.


Let's face it, a serious closet edit is tedious. It takes commitment to shed years of accumulated clothing and accessories. Your best items will go fast, so list them and be prepared to part ways with them. For other items you'll need to have a thick skin. You will be sent an embarrassingly small offer for what used to be your favorite jacket. Yup. Check your ego at the door. On the bright side, there will be occasions when you hear an almost audible "cha-ching!" when those sunglasses you bought at full price that never fit finally find a home with a very happy buyer. 

The process of purging and selling isn't fast by any means, but the growing crop of services out there give you plenty of options. Taking time to sell off your edited clothing will definitely make you a more discerning buyer in the future. You'll never want to go through this process again and will now see the value of carefully considering your purchases.

Now... go forth and purge your closet, girls! There's a new world out there waiting for you to empty your closet and let those garments & accessories go to new homes. Just don't buy it all back at once! 

Wardrobe Management: A View from the Flipside...

Ahhh, perspective. It is a wonderful thing, no? Last night I received a thought provoking email that took my present closet edit to the next level - or perhaps even a few levels beyond. My focus this time has been on what to purge. The thoughtful email from a reader/friend suggested that perhaps I view the challenge from the other side of the hanger (so to speak). What if I asked myself, "What few spectacular items should I actually keep?"

Some of you are having a eureka moment, others of you may have read those sentences unfazed. Let me put this into more concrete terms. Up until now I've been carefully selecting 30-40 items to purge, sell or donate. What if... what if I were only allowing myself to KEEP 30-40 pieces of clothing. What gems would those be? How many pieces in my closet do I absolutely adore? Which dresses make me feel like Sophia Vergera (or Sophia Loren, while we're at it)? Which jackets make me feel unstoppable? Which pants to my yoga booty justice? Are any of these blouses really worth the wooden hanger they rest upon? Or perhaps the ultimate question: if I were shopping today, would I purchase this item. Ouch. Yes, that last one stings. It is actually my favorite question to ask when I evaluate each item. 

Positioned this way, I become a much more harsh critic on my sartorial acquisitions. Each piece is cast in an entirely new light and I ask myself, is it hanger worthy? Few things will make the cut, I assure you. This is actually quite liberating. Especially if I can unload them in a more high-end fashion via Vaunte and The Real Real, I feel I might actually end up with a bit of pocket change when all is said and done.

What if we only allowed excellence into our lives and our closets? How different would our existence and our wardrobes be? It should be noted that I already do this with bags. There are no extras in my handbag collection. The only items I have are those that I adore. No so-so bags filling space allowed. 

The same is absolutely true in terms of my furniture and home decor. I would never, ever acquire or hold on to something I didn't absolutely love. In fact I go out of my way to eliminate anything in my visual life that I am not absolutely enamored with. There are no "so so" chairs. There are no mediocre sofas. I do not take in pieces that I don't absolutely love. In fact, I've been known to stubbornly do without key furnishings until I find EXACTLY what I want.

Being in the business I'm in I have most things custom made. They are, therefore, the result of month's long consideration and planning. Each piece is the result of specifying to the letter how each chair or sofa should be created. I obsess over tiny details no one will notice. I fondle a fabric for months next to dozens of others and carefully weigh pros and cons of this versus that and how it reads in a variety of lights and conditions. I put each piece of furniture through the paces before ever placing an order. In the end, I go with what makes my knees weak and my heart flutter. 

So why would anyone allow mediocrity in the closet? There are many, many reasons. Few of us apply such a judicious and careful approach to wardrobe building. Commitment and cost differentials play a major role, of course. A sofa costs thousands of dollars and is a longer term investment. It also isn't an impulse purchase. Our apparel should also be considered in such a careful way - especially since it represents us to the world at large. 

Yet it's more complex than that, isn't it? We make excuses. "It's summer now. I'll wear it again when it's cold." Will you? I believe lifestyle and lifestage play a key role. I'm self employed. I no longer need clothing for an office. Perhaps I obtained too many boho items before and now I'm back to my preppy classic roots. Regardless, it is time to trim the fat once and for all and leave only space for that which is awesome. 

One quick look at my "sell" pile confirms what I've always known: items purchased on sale or at major chain stores are the very first to go. They hold little or no long term value (emotional or otherwise) for my wardrobe. Moving forward I want very, very few pieces. Yet the standards for those few pieces will be exceptionally high.

And so... off I go to dive in and free myself of clothing that isn't everything I hoped it would be. If you're an online shopper, feel free to look me up on  Vaunte and The Real Real and Tradesy. The Venti closet is being freed once and for all and I couldn't be more excited.

Wardrobe Mananagement: Preservation...

Regular readers will know that I'm big on the care and maintenance of things acquired. I don't much see the point in owning quality pieces (be they in the dining room or the closet) without making the commitment to treat them well.

My favorite handbags are emptied, bagged and shelved after use. Shoes are returned to their shelves. Denim is placed back with the other jeans. Necklaces are hung after use. Why? I take pride in my organizational skills and my closet is a unique showcase where those OCD tendencies shine brightly. To me it only makes sense to keep my wardrobe tidy and well preserved for longevity and basic respect for the work I've put into building it.

What are my favorite tools of the trade? Matching hangers go a LONG way in bringing visual unity to the closet. Invest in good hangers and expect to order more than you might guess. Mine are wooden with grooves for dresses and blouses. Next, assign a drawer for jewelry. Unmentionables are best kept in drawers with faintly scented liners. It makes it a pleasure to get dressed. Personally, I do not like keeping shoes in bins or boxes. Leather needs to breathe. Boots are best preserved if hung, and these little boot hangers from Organized Living do the trick for very little cash.

Lastly, for open surfaces in your dressing area I love to add pretty lidded containers and a tray. Place trinkets and special objects in them. I have a box that holds dried rose petals from a bouquet my husband gave me on our first Valentine's Day. It's a small thing, but a special one. And that's the key... personalize your closet and make it uniquely yours. Create a space you love to see each day.

What are some of your favorite closet-keeping tips & tricks? 

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